I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this thing called life. All it really is are just a series of journeys. In October 2005, I asked God for a sign for a new beginning. Firstly, I remember that date because I keep a handwritten journal and for some reason unbeknownst to me, I’m able to recall specific events by when I recorded it. In any event, I asked for a promise, but not just any promise. It would need to be so special and specific, that I could only, without any reservations, know that God had answered it.
I was living in Charlotte, NC at the time and working at a high school. I had experienced many heartaches and disappointments. I was not dating, but was in-love with someone who was not good for me or to me. I desperately needed the reassurance that God had not forgotten about me and that He knew my desire was to be married and have children. I wanted a new beginning…a fresh start. While recording that particular entry, I had a conversation with God and said, “Lord, I need to know that you still care; that all of this has not been in vain. My hope is diminishing and God, if that goes, I don’t have anything. I need a sign of a new beginning.” As I pondered this, I know the Holy Spirit spoke gently and quietly to my soul, whispering, “A yellow rose. That will be the sign of your new beginning.” We can ask God for something, but it may not necessarily come in the form we think it will or from the person we think it will. I thought He meant the “yellow rose” would be in the form of my husband. So I waited and waited and waited. I grew impatient with God and kept reminding him of the promise. In December 2005….January 2006…February 2006…March 2006. In that impatience and waiting, I wasn’t really listening to Him because my focus was on the husband. In any event, I continued to seek Him and draw closer to Him. Even in that waiting, God was preparing me for a journey that I could not have fathomed.
Let me back up a bit. I had worked at Bank of America for about 4 years. I hated that job and that environment. In April 2004, the Lord revealed to me that He was bringing me out of my Exodus, which was BofA. It had been my Egypt and I was its slave. On May 3, 2004. I resigned from my position at the bank. I didn’t know what I was going to do and I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t even want to work with kids, but six months later, I took a job at a high school and ended up realizing that I loved working with kids. It was also a difficult time, because I had a house and it was foreclosed. I was certain that God had told me to leave BofA and I continued to turn to Him for reassurance. I began to question His plan. Once, when I was in worship, I told God that I love Him so much that I’d be willing to give up everything. Well, He called my bluff. When I questioned the plan, He reminded me in a question, “Didn’t you say you love Me so much you’d be willing to give up everything?” “Yes, Lord, but I DIDN’T MEAN MY HOUSE!” I broke down and wailed the most earth-shattering, heart wrenching cry from the pit of my very being. Humiliated and ashamed. I could not believe this was happening. I felt like a failure in this, as I had in so many other areas of my life. I yielded to His plan and moved out of my house three months later to rent a condo.
It was during that time that I began to sense that God was going to move me from Charlotte. I did not want to leave. I was very content at my church and being near my family. I guess I resisted on some level…I’m sure I did, but God was relentless in making me aware of that portion of his plan. I tried to assume control by deciding where I would go. It wasn’t up to me. God was the pilot of this vessel and He had other plans. As time passed, that sensing or knowing became stronger and stronger. In January 2006, I yielded and told the Lord, “Okay God…wherever you want me to go, I’ll go.” When God calls, all we have to do is answer. We could save time and energy by just yielding. While I know I’m very stubborn (even with God), I also wanted to please Him. I had to give up control because what I was doing wasn’t working. I applied for jobs in the southeast corridor of the USA. I had already lived in Seattle and knew I never wanted to that far from home again. I began to apply for jobs in Virginia, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Yes…Alabama! Then I applied for a job in Austin, Texas! I was thinking to myself, “Lord, you have got to be kidding me!” The position was at a KIPP charter school. I was thinking I didn’t stand a chance. In any event, I applied and waited. That was March 2006. Then at the end of April 2006, I applied for a job at a school in Houston, Texas…another charter school. How about I got an interview for that one! Go figure. I was still struggling financially and had not really recovered from the foreclosure. God orchestrated it so that someone I knew worked at an airline and I was able to get a buddy pass (which I will NEVER fly on again) the Houston interview. On the weekend of Memorial day, 2006 I flew to Houston and stayed with friends who had come out a year earlier from Charlotte. Do you see how God orchestrated that? So I flew out and had the interview that Saturday. I remember thinking, “That sucked!” It was a horrible interview and school location was in the “hood.” Unh-huh! I wasn’t feeling it. When that interview was over, I went to airport that Sunday morning for an 7AM flight. However, because I was on that buddy pass, I got bumped from flight after flight after flight. I ended up sitting in the airport for over 12 hours. My hope of returning home was very dismal. Finally, after getting bumped from the next to the last flight, I decided to pray. I told God, “Let me tell You something. I’m not going in that bathroom and get on that nasty floor; I’m not going to get on my knees at this seat; I’m going to sit my Black behind here and this is what I know. I’m going home and I’m going home tonight! Amen!” I kicked back, put my feet up on my luggage and proceeded to continue reading my book. Then it hit me! I sprang up from a slouched position in my seat and said, “Oh my God! It’s Texas! Texas is my yellow rose! The Yellow Rose of Texas! You’re bringing me to Texas! Did anybody hear that? Oh my God, You’re bringing me to Texas!” My nerves were shot! Then I was like, “Lord, why did it take You all day to tell me that?” He said, “You weren’t ready to hear it until now.” Wow…that’s the kind of God I serve! He didn’t just stop blessing in that instance because with that revelation came the announcement of my name for a seat on the last flight out for the night.
I boarded that flight and come the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day, I was contacted by the consultant the KIPP school in Austin, Texas hired to help with the job search. By Thursday of that week, I had a phone interview, and not 3 minutes after the interview, I received a call back inviting me to fly out for an in-person interview. I came; I saw; I conquered! While sitting in a restaurant for a meal, I inquired of God, “Why Austin, Lord?” He said, “It would be too easy to go back to the places you’ve already been.”
So, within three weeks of that interview, I found myself relocated to Austin, Texas. I haven’t always known my purpose for being here, but I know I’m supposed to be here. When I stop and think about the goodness of Jesus and all He’s done for me, my soul does cry out! Everyday is a new beginning….a yellow rose promise for me and I’m so thankful that God did not forget about me. I can’t tell you I haven’t had struggles because I have, but I can tell you that God is faithful and He doesn’t leave anything unfinished. Whatever He says He’s going to do, He will do! My “yellow rose” promise has not come in the form of a husband, but in the form of firsts experiences, great friends, restoration, and peace.